I love apples. I love pork. But I never really figured out a way to fall in love with fennel…until today.
You see dinner can be hard for a food blogger sometimes. I spend time all day thinking of recipes and making ingredients lists and doing my very best to do cool new things with flavors and textures. Then dinner rolls around just begging for that same enthusiasm and sometimes I just can’t deliver.
Poor poor pitiful Nate…
Y’all? This one delivers! It’s a brand new take on pork chops and as fancy as it can seem to roll the stuffing in the meat, I promise it’s worth it. But even if you don’t feel like doing the pounding-out-the-meat-and-tying-it-up-with-kitchen-twine thing you can still make this dish and just serve the pork chops over the stuffing. And the best part? The flavors all meld together to create this all-in-one dish that is sure to rock your dinner table.
P.S. There’s no way I’m ever going to NOT make a pan gravy again! I sweat the flavor is insane and the texture is just silky. It’s also thickened by the little bits of stuffing that fall out of the meat…doesn’t get much better!
- 4 thin pork chops, bones removed
- 1 small apple, cored and chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb, cored and chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups water, divided
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup milk
In a saute pan heat the olive oil and saute the onion and fennel for about 3-4 minutes until they start to turn translucent. Add the apple and garlic and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and cornmeal over the mixture and stir together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1/2 a cup of water over the mixture to bind it all together; it should be sticky. Set aside.
Take the pork chops and place them between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using the back of a pan (well, that’s what I used!) pound them out to 1/4 inch thickness. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat and then add about 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the stuffing mixture to the middle. Roll them up like burritos and secure with kitchen twine or a toothpick. In a pan with a lid heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Sear the pork chops on all sides. Pour in 1/2 cup of water and place the lid on top. Turn the heat down to medium low and let the pork chops cook for about 15-20 minutes, replacing the water if it evaporates. Remove the pork chops from the pan. Add the final cup of water and the milk. Bring to a simmer and let it reduce down to thicken for the gravy. Make sure you get all of the little scraps up off the bottom! Remove the string or toothpicks from the pork chops and serve with the gravy.